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22 March 2010 @ 02:16 pm
Film at 11: Fulmination  
In response to yet another BoingBoing article about TASER Abuse, I offered the following comment:

Please remember that "TASER" is a registered trademark of TASER International.

The continuous and increasing use of "taser" as a generic term risks trademark dilution and the commensurate devaluation of TASER International's business interests.

I would like to submit the more descriptive and accurate term, "AGONY GUN", as an acceptable substitute.

As a Star Trek fan, I did, of course, consider "Agonizer" as my suggested alternative, but I thought "Agony Gun" carried more of the desired semantic connotations.

Other Rejected Terms:

  1. Pain Lance
  2. Neurolash
  3. Electric Scourge
  4. Torment Pistol
  5. Convulsionator
  6. Spasmotron

Feel free to provide more suggestions in the comments.

I feel: annoyedfulminating
Pakapaka on March 22nd, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
So... they invent something to cause pain, death, and distress, and it's widely abused by the authorities. Then, instead of being happy about the free advertising generated by their name becoming a common part of the English language, they instead are trying to grab even more profits by the official name use.

How um, American.
Your Obedient Serpent: causticathelind on March 22nd, 2010 09:32 pm (UTC)
Oh, the protest of the use of the generic term was entirely my own.

The only time I've heard TASER International grouse is when people use "taser" to describe the touch-only hand-held electric stun weapons instead of the electric-cables-tipped-with-barbed-darts of the proper TASER.

To Explain the Joke, I think that if we drop the cool, snazzy, sci-fi name, and start calling these things what they are -- guns that shoot excruciating agony -- then the casual use of "nonlethal" street torture might become slightly less acceptable.
Paka: coyotepaka on March 22nd, 2010 09:45 pm (UTC)
Dur. I guess I'm having a not-overly-bright sort of day.
Tombfyretombfyre on March 22nd, 2010 09:23 pm (UTC)
More "Taser" abuse, eh? What a shocking turn of events. No doubt people are getting quite amped up over the situation. I should think "agony gun" might spark some laughter out of anyone reading the article, that much is for sure. That or you'll get people all wired up over your commentary, one or the other.

Perhaps we should all meditate over your alternate naming conventions.

Your Obedient Serpent: tell it like it ISathelind on March 22nd, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)
I find your resistance to my suggestions revolting! You're obviously insulated from current events. The officer in question should be brought up on a charge of battery!
Tombfyretombfyre on March 22nd, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
Watt are you talking about? Battery charges perhaps, but with the current levels of capacitance, the situation may head towards an overload!
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on March 22nd, 2010 09:41 pm (UTC)
As a B5 fan, I must suggest "pain giver." Though those were not, strictly speaking, in the form of a gun-type weapon, but rather manacles/collars the target would wear, to be triggered by another (or even mere proximity to that other).

I'm sure those will be mandatory by the end of the decade.
ebony14 on March 22nd, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
We could always go with "Electric Rifle," since that's the "-ER" of "TASER" anyway. (Tom A. Swift's Electric Rifle, to be precise, but I suspect you already knew that.) The Pulp/Steampunk/Mad Scientist in me likes Nos. 5 and 6, although the Hard Sci-Fi Fan in me likes Nos. 1 and 2. Perhaps "Neural Convulsor" might be a good blend?

Alternately, we could go full-blown Space Opera and refer to them as "Wands of Pain."

Edited at 2010-03-22 10:04 pm (UTC)
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on March 22nd, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
I admit the only thing I can think of to call tasers is "illegal". Probably because I have a limited imagination. ;)
doc_mysterydoc_mystery on March 22nd, 2010 10:25 pm (UTC)
Torture Gun?

Cheney-matic Pistol?


Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on March 23rd, 2010 03:52 am (UTC)
I admit that Cheney-matic pistol made me laugh. ;)
Grauph. - haystack on March 23rd, 2010 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
one in a billionsiege on March 23rd, 2010 03:37 am (UTC)
Electric hate machine
Hell darter
Electric Fuckyouup
Zap-the-corpse dart gun
Deadlectric dartgun
Powered agony dispenser
The Freudian Yard Sale: Haflerxylen on March 23rd, 2010 05:21 am (UTC)
Spark-shitter is what I usually call 'em.
eggshellhammereggshellhammer on March 23rd, 2010 01:17 pm (UTC)
I think 'Agony Gun' is good. 'Pain Lance' has a bit too much romance to it, but 'Agony Gun' is nice and grungy.

I still think that it's a good thing for police officers to have access to an agony gun in addition to pistol; if the things were treated as the agonizing less-than-lethal takedown weapons they are, rather than 'tasers'.
Your Obedient Serpentathelind on March 23rd, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think Agony Guns are an excellent addition to the Law Enforcement arsenal --but, as you and many others have said, it needs to be accompanied by proper Use of Force protocols, and treated as "Use This Instead Of Shooting Someone Dead", not "Use This Instead Of Interacting With The Subject As If Both Officer And Subject Were Actual Human Beings".

This isn't just a TASER thing, either. We had rigorous Use of Force training in the Coast Guard, including and especially when to escalate. When the Rodney King thing happened, I was aghast, because it violated every aspect of my training.
eggshellhammereggshellhammer on March 23rd, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
The real problem is that a large quantity of police officers basically act like street gangers with more funding. As long as they have truncheons, they will truncheon.
Terraluna the Fruit Bat: Kingsford_iconterraluna_bat on March 23rd, 2010 08:38 pm (UTC)
What about the "orgasmitron" from sleeper.

Oh, wait,,,,,,,,,, This is not suppose to be enjoyable.

--Never mind--
Rustitobuckrustitobuck on March 27th, 2010 04:23 am (UTC)
"Electronic death roulette device?"